Yesha 'yahu (Isa) 41
1“Keep silence before me, coastlands!
Let the peoples replenish their strength!
Let them approach; then let them speak.
Let us assemble for judgment.”
2Who has raised from the east one who is just
and called him to be in his service?
He hands nations over to him
and subjects kings to him;
his sword reduces them to dust,
his bow to driven straw.
3He pursues them, passing on unscathed,
hardly touching the path with his feet.
4Whose work is this? Who has brought it about?
He who called the generations from the beginning,
“I, Adonai, am the first;
and I am the same with those who are last.”
5The coastlands have seen and became afraid.
The ends of the earth have trembled.
They have approached, and now they have come.
6Every one helps his fellow workman,
everyone says to his brother, “Be strong!”
7The woodworker encourages the goldsmith,
the polisher encourages the hammerer;
he says of the soldering, “Yes, that’s good,”
then puts nails in [the idol] to keep it from moving.
8“But you, Isra’el, my servant;
Ya‘akov, whom I have chosen,
descendants of Avraham my friend,
9I have taken you from the ends of the earth,
summoned you from its most distant parts
and said to you, ‘You are my servant’ —
I have chosen you, not rejected you.
10Don’t be afraid, for I am with you;
don’t be distressed, for I am your God.
I give you strength, I give you help,
I support you with my victorious right hand.
11All those who were angry with you
will be disgraced, put to shame;
those who fought against you
will be destroyed, brought to nothing.
12You will seek them but not find them,
those who contended with you;
yes, those who made war with you
will be brought to nothing, nothing at all.
13For I, Adonai, your God,
say to you, as I hold your right hand,
‘Have no fear; I will help you.
14Have no fear, Ya‘akov, you worm,
you men of Isra’el!’
I will help you,” says Adonai;
“Your redeemer is the Holy One of Isra’el.
15“I will make you into a threshing-sledge,
new, with sharp, pointed teeth,
to thresh the mountains and crush them to dust,
to reduce the hills to chaff.
16As you fan them, the wind will carry them off,
and the whirlwind will scatter them.
Then you will rejoice in Adonai,
you will glory in the Holy One of Isra’el.
17“The poor and needy look for water in vain;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, Adonai, will answer them.
I, the God of Isra’el, will not leave them.
18I will open up rivers on the barren hills
and wells down in the broad valleys.
I will turn the desert into a lake
and dry ground into springs.
19I will plant the desert with cedars,
acacias, myrtles and olive trees;
In the ‘Aravah I will put cypresses
together with elm trees and larches.”
20Then the people will see and know,
together observe and understand
that the hand of Adonai has done this,
that the Holy One of Isra’el created it.
21“Present your case,” says Adonai,
“Produce your arguments,” says Ya‘akov’s king.
22Bring out those idols!
Have them foretell the future for us,
tell us about past events,
so that we can reflect on them
and understand their consequences.
Or tell us about events yet to come,
23state what will happen in the future,
so that we can know you are gods.
At least, do something, either good or bad —
anything, to make us awestruck and fearful!
24You can’t! — because you are less than nothing.
Whoever chooses you is an abomination!
25“I roused someone from the north,
and he has come from the rising sun;
he will call on my name.
He will trample on rulers as if they were mud,
like a potter treading clay.”
26Who said this at the start, so we could know,
or foretold it, so we could say, “He’s right”?
In fact, no one said it; no one foretold it —
the fact is, nobody hears what you say.
27I am the first to declare it to Tziyon,
to send Yerushalayim a messenger with good news.
28But when I look around, there is no one —
not a single one can give counsel,
who, when I ask, can give an answer.
29Look at them all! What they do is nothing!
Their idols are so much wind and waste.
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